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kree8or t1_isscmx2 wrote

i read somewhere that most ‘worlds tallest buildings’ for their era are commissioned at times of plenty (lots of surplus captial), built as the storms clouds gather, and open during recessions and economic crises. Twin Towers. The Shard. Burj Kalifah.


FredYellowYellow t1_issgkqu wrote

Yes. IIRC Burj Khalifa is called Khalifa because Dubai-authority had to get/loan money from Abu Dhabi authority.


LikeEpisodeVIThemost t1_issnohd wrote

Was really hoping for a more pronographic end to this comment


Foreign-Complaint130 t1_issqp6y wrote

Fwiw, Khalifa means successor or heir in Arabic. Hence it's a pretty common name. It's also what a Caliphate/Caliph is named for: they're the successor to the Prophet. Very common Arabic name for that reason

Hence, an American former adult performer of Lebanese extraction having it as a last name


gonzo5622 t1_isstlr5 wrote

“California” is also derived from the word “Caliph”.


samillos t1_isv3jtm wrote

It was originally going to be called tower of Dubai but Abu Dhabi didn't accept that name as they paid for it too


innergamedude t1_isterf3 wrote

The skyscraper effect:

How much validity it has is debatable.

Also, we shouldn't really build tall skyscrapers if reasoning on environmental or economic factors.


[deleted] t1_isu11dn wrote



A_Soporific t1_isu8wu3 wrote

They are nothing, and deep down they know it. They know the oil is running out. They know that once it's gone not one person will every think about them ever again. They know they don't have the time to grow something organic and unique and theirs. They need to make something NOW. Something that make people think that they are a real thing. Something that will attract other money, since as long as there's foreign money and investment they have a chance.

So they built skyscrapers. They built all the outward signs of wealth and power and importance. They built all the things that would attract international wealth and power. They pay obscene amounts of money and put ridiculous effort into getting global sporting events and unique items.

All so that they can pretend to be something.

The problem is that those things will get old and run down. It's already happening. For the moment they are using oil wealth to build more new and shiny to distract from the rusting and rotten. But the second they can't continue to build they'll become nothing. Old historic casinos in Las Vegas don't draw crowds, they are left to rot until someone blows them up and builds something new and shiny. Old historic skyscrapers in Dubai won't draw the global elite, they'll find somewhere else building something new and shiny like they always have and always will. The only chance Dubai and Saudi Arabia ever had was leaning into what makes them special and unique, to give experiences that one can't have anywhere else.

It's already too late for them to correct course. They have sunk untold trillions into a generic modern experience you could have anywhere for thirty years. In another thirty it'll be tired and worn out and dated. People will look at their skyscrapers and think of it as antiquated as "early 21st century" as opposed to whatever style is big in the 2040s to 2060s as "mid-century" styles take over the hearts and wallets of the big spends.

Dubai and Saudi Arabia will be nothing again. And we will have missed out on whatever unique and special experience they might have offered if they decided to lean on their own people rather than merely copy styles that were already on the way out in the west.


SeanOuttaCompton t1_isuamz0 wrote

Redditors criticize a foreign country’s government without getting really really weird challenge (impossible)


A_Soporific t1_isugk26 wrote

There are just the three things that really annoy me about the way they're doing things.

The first is that none of that money is going into base infrastructure needed to support these massive buildings. The tallest building in the world doesn't have a sewer hookup. They have to pump out that massive septic tank every day with a fleet of a couple hundred trucks. That's just massively more expensive over the long run and demonstrates a lack of focus on the unsexy but necessary technology that makes skyscrapers an option. As soon as the oil money slows down the lack of a sewer will eat away at the money available to build a newer tower. Just look at the Jeddah Tower (formerly the Kingdom Tower) that may or may not be completed now because of internal politics and work stopped on the tower that was supposed to be a kilometer tall in 2017. Every year that passes makes restarting construction more technically challenging and expensive.

The second is the complete reliance on foreign design and oversight. None of those skyscrapers are different than any other skyscraper built anywhere else in the world. They could be anywhere, which means that they are nowhere mentally speaking. If the design was more reflective of the place, the millennia of history, and the people there I would be far more positive about them. The more things that are pale imitations of the "international style" the poorer the collective cultural value of architecture is and the poorer we all are for it. Investing in their people to create something new and valuable was something they consciously decided against, which makes me grumpy.

Finally, oil revenue is always temporary. Not only are we losing uses for oil but the oil fields in question have a finite quantity of oil in them. Even if selling oil remains profitable globally forever, Saudi Arabia will run out. There have been no significant finds of new oil reserves since 1989 and the Ghawar fields (5% of the world's proven reserves) seems to be tapping out early, some of the oil might actually be a layer of water thus substantially reducing the amount of oil Saudi Arabia might actually have. The worst case scenario is that Saudi Arabia is out of oil in the early 2040s. The Best case is that they run out in the late 2080s. Even with spending several hundred billion dollars on exploration you can't find something that doesn't exist, and the Vision 2030 program indicates that the Kingdom itself doesn't believe that there is much more oil to find and they need to transition away from oil to something else. My big gripe is that the "something else" they have decided upon are "the line" and giant manufactured luxury islands that lack basic infrastructure like running water and sewers rather than investing their money into basics, local culture, and something unique and enriching for humanity as a whole. I wouldn't mind if they just leaned into the Hajj I will never go on, I am just disappointed they are into geometric police states and Neo-Vegas instead of something that's actually practical and sustainable and uniquely them.


[deleted] t1_isv09lm wrote



A_Soporific t1_isv5tr5 wrote

Why? It's desert. It's not like they're destroying ecologically valuable wildlife habitat. If anyone should be expanding outwards rather than upwards it's people in deserts. They aren't even substituting farmland or land useful to man or beast.

If you were talking about a temperate forest or a jungle or farmland or a swamp then yes, by all means up makes way more sense than out, but it's Saudi Arabia.


Johannes_P t1_isutw0b wrote

> Also, we shouldn't really build tall skyscrapers if reasoning on environmental or economic factors.

OTOH, denser urban areas might mean less use of land surface.


Gagarin1961 t1_ist3bmn wrote

Damn, it’s too late for one during this business cycle, then


fml86 t1_isule9c wrote

I’ve read this with respect to sports arenas/stadiums.


BigBobby2016 t1_isshyxh wrote

I wonder what the timeframe is for the typical skyscraper to become profitable? They certainly aren’t cheap and the rents require some time to make up for the cost.


danteheehaw t1_issvykw wrote

I think they mean it was costing more to maintain than the income earned.


BigBobby2016 t1_issyxa6 wrote

That does make sense. Cities and developers have been known to give buildings away when they cost more to maintain than they earned in income.

My old city actually gave their arena to a university because of this. That same year, they charged the city $10k to hold their HS graduation there…


A_Soporific t1_isua8k6 wrote

Needless to say, it varies WILDLY depending on the style of construction and if it's commercial (Offices) or residential (apartments). Early 20th century skyscrapers tend to be massive commercial structures. Those going up now tend to be "super-slim" residential structures featuring whole-floor condos.

I don't know what the payback on a early 20th century style building would be today. But a modern "super-slim" like One57 or 220 Central Park South would cost about $1.6 billion, take roughly five years to build, and would recoup its expenses between two to three years after construction finishes since they are selling and not renting those condos.

So, if you're talking about the sort of skyscraper being built now in New York then roughly 7-8 years.


Garrison1999 t1_issxcrk wrote

Yeah most businesses don't plan to become profitable immediately. Tesla is still not profitable after almost a decade. Even for small startups it can take several years. A project of this magnitude would require massive financing, so twenty years seems reasonable.


OMQ4 t1_issxt2r wrote

From a quick google search:

“Tesla then took profitability to the next level when it announced a $1.19 billion profit in the second quarter of 2021 (with $354 million coming from credit sales). Tesla ended 2021 with a net income of $5.51 billion (a 665% increase from 2020).”


Garrison1999 t1_issy4xj wrote

Okay fair, thanks for the info. My knowledge was out dated. My point still stands that it takes a while.


OMQ4 t1_issyie4 wrote

100% , also Tesla has been around since 2003 and didn’t become profitable untill like a year ago… that’s crazy!


A_Soporific t1_isuai9p wrote

They have yet to be profitable over the course of a year, but they have been profitable for a single quarter. It's really a value judgement if that counts or not.


Mr-Tootles t1_iswzwrc wrote

As an accountant… it does not.

There are so many ways to fiddle with profit in one quarter. So many one off accounting adjustments that can happen.


SkyeMreddit t1_isucniz wrote

The wiki article for the ESB said that at the time, skyscrapers were 50% occupied by the time they opened and 90% occupied within 5 years. Now, there are two types. They either wait for a big tenant to take more than half of the space before starting construction, or they build “on-spec” and it varies but lots of them become 85-90% occupied within a couple years unless there are unique problems with that specific building


yamaha2000us t1_issrxgf wrote

It was nicknamed the Empty State Building due to low occupancy.


Stachemaster86 t1_ist8d2f wrote

I read that years ago and it’s amazing how now it’s an icon but back then, tenants were hard to come by.


zachzsg t1_isu5beq wrote

People were too busy trying to not die and whatnot to give a shit about some tall piece of metal


Stachemaster86 t1_isu62cr wrote

Agreed. I should have probably said how it wasn’t viewed as an icon then but amazing it has now become one. Same thing for the Statue of Liberty. Wasn’t the most popular thing when gifted.


SkyeMreddit t1_isu9ola wrote

Same with the Eiffel Tower. It was promised that it would be removed after 20 years like most temporary World’s Fair attractions and even after 20 years many did want to remove it but others fell in love with it.


PM_Me_British_Stuff t1_isxty33 wrote

What would be the most iconic landmark of Paris had the Eiffel Tower not been built? The Notre Dame? Arc de Triomphe?


SkyeMreddit t1_isygs1b wrote

Also Louvre Palace/Museum and Sacre Coeur. Arc de Triomphe is probably the most well known.


FunkyColdMecca t1_issrm31 wrote

Not surprised due to the media misrepresenting it as a magnet for Giant Apes


IvoShandor t1_istwa7m wrote

It was also built in 15 months.

Also, in 1945 a B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor.


SkyeMreddit t1_isuahyy wrote

It crashed into the offices of the Catholic War Relief Services on a foggy Saturday and the building was patched up and reopened on that Monday. An elevator operator was thrown out the open doors of the elevator and emergency responders placed her in a different elevator car which was damaged in the crash so it fell 900 feet to the basement and she still survived.


auyemra t1_isv13vi wrote

This always make me think as to why the Twin towers fell & with the B-25 and the Empire State shook it off no problem.

besides the size of the two aircraft , the buildings are close in height. and the Twins were built with aerial impact in mind.


Googlefluff t1_isw1iwr wrote

A 767 is nine times larger than a B-25 and goes more than twice as fast. The Twin Towers would have survived a B-25 too.


SenorTron t1_it0fvbl wrote

"Besides the size of the aircraft" is a hell of a thing to dismiss.

A fully loaded B-25 can carry 670 gallons of fuel. A 767 carries over 20,000 gallons.


InquisitiveGamer t1_isw5koz wrote

Old methods of building are just better in many ways, it's a shame we abandoned them for cheaper material.


Flying_Dustbin t1_istnsjx wrote

Slaps side of building

“You can crash so many B-25’s into this thing.”


night_breed t1_isuibl8 wrote

"But that's not all!! You can even land a blimp!!!"


auyemra t1_isv1dth wrote

That large weird thing on the top of the Empire State Building, is exactly what it was built for. A big ass blimp.

they never did this again though, as blimps lost their use & the winds up that high were so bad they were never used again.


BSB8728 t1_issy0v4 wrote

My dad remembered watching it being built.


BurningHuman t1_issppez wrote

It was mostly a vanity project for Pierre DuPont anyway, if I remember correctly.


ResoluteClover t1_istpeaf wrote

I don't think it's surprising that any massive building would take decades to be profitable.


SarahVeraVicky t1_istsrgh wrote

20 years to become profitable?

I wonder how that would work in today's business mindset? So much focus on quarterly and annual profits, that only rare people would have the patience to bother.

Shit would've either barely grazed by, or would've changed hands quickly enough to register for whiplash in a hospital.


elpajaroquemamais t1_ist55fs wrote

Most real estate, especially commercial real estate, isn’t super “profitable.” It’s an investment that helps offset some other earnings.


redplanetlover t1_isv3g34 wrote

But was built under budget and under schedule with no labour issues at all


Specialist-Muffin-12 t1_isvq2b7 wrote

It's predecessor and design inspiration is located in Winston-Salem, NC.


Commercial_Cold7614 t1_isuv3da wrote

It was also built from ground breaking to first occupancy in 11 months with no computers, work flow diagrams, etc.


Inspection24 t1_isv3wbr wrote

Please someone tell me what TIL at the start of a post means?
I see it in this post and other posts.
Thanks in advance to the kind replier!


wizer1212 t1_isu13u9 wrote

Couldnt care less, don’t they just all wash money with Finanical engineering